“Sweet potatoes are a rich source of dietary fiber, natural sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein, carotenoids, vitamin C, iron and calcium.” –Natural News
Last spring, when Molly and I planted our little garden, we bought a little six-pack of sweet potato slips. The heart-shaped leaves were so pretty, we thought it would be fun to try them, having no idea what to expect.
Fast forward a few months to harvest time. What started as six little vines was taking over our garden. We had read that the time to harvest is before the first frost when the leaves start to yellow. We came armed with buckets and shovels, excited to see what had grown invisibly under the dirt. We pushed aside the trail of leaves to find where they entered the ground. That’s where we started digging. It was like uncovering buried treasure!
Out came sweet potatoes of all sizes—some gigantic and some tiny. We had to be careful as we dug not to slice them in two. We smiled and exclaimed as pile after pile mounted, much to our amazement and delight.
Some of the shapes were amusing—the ones in the store are always so uniform. We put them into some orchard boxes and couldn’t believe that from 6 tiny plants, we grew 50 pounds of sweet potatoes! Talk about cost effective!
Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes will keep for months if you treat them correctly. Don’t wash them, though you may gently brush off the dirt. The first step is to cure them. This involves letting them seal over any scrapes that came during the harvest process so they won’t rot. Place them in a warm room for about a week. If you have a greenhouse or sunroom, that would work great. We don’t, so I set them in a southern window to keep warm. I knew they were done with the scrapes were sealed over with a white, cork-like substance. Next, place them in a cool spot, like a garage or cellar. They will keep all through the winter. We were so pleased with the ease and success of this vegetable, that we definitely want to try them again next season. In the mean time…hello, sweet potato fries!
Click here to read the post on how to start your own slips!